The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Guilford earns national recognition for community service

Have you ever helped out at the community garden? Participated in Solarpalooza over fall break? Volunteered at the Glen Haven apartment complex? Or assisted students down the road at Newcomers School for a day?

If so, you’re part of the reason why the Corporation for National and Community Service named Guilford College to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the sixth year in a row. The annual federal recognition is the highest distinction a college or university can receive for its commitment to community service, service learning or civic engagement.

“It’s in our DNA,” said President and Professor of Political Science Kent Chabotar of Guilford’s emphasis on service involvement. “You can be rich or poor, you can be from the South or from the North, you can be an American or someone from overseas, but the idea of community service is universal.”

Guilford’s core values, especially those of stewardship and community, bolster and encourage the concept of service to the community. Guilford students participate in a variety of service opportunities through a wide range of venues.

Junior Kiel Williams, for example, organized science workshops for students at Jefferson Elementary School through Guilford’s Society of Physics Students.

“In each consecutive week, the Jefferson students learned to build effective marshmallow-toothpick bridges, tried to align lasers to hit a target and built simple circuits,” said Williams about this semester’s activities.

For Williams, service links directly to his interests.

“The part of it I most enjoy is the opportunity to make science real,” said Williams. “Too often science has become reduced to a pile of vocabulary words, especially at the primary level.”

Other organizations and courses on campus also support service to the community. Guilford’s Center for Principled Problem Solving sponsors student-led service projects. One recent project explored and polled students about their perception of alternative healthcare.

Another service opportunity, Bonner Scholars program, has members complete 140 hours of community service each semester as well as two summer service projects.

“Our service sites are open to everyone,” said James Shields, director of community learning, in an email interview.

Shields emphasized that service transcends any one group or set of people on campus.

“For example, we have former and current Guilford athletes, like Justin Bradley, who conduct a summer basketball camp through his nonprofit, Unity Hoops,” said Shields.

Courses like Community Problem Solving even incorporate service learning into the curriculum and class experience. Students this semester had a chance to volunteer with the Occupy Greensboro camp, among other selected sites.

For Director of Admissions Andy Strickler, it is not so much that Guilford offers service opportunities — most schools do — but rather how Guilford manages to tie community service back to its heritage and values.

“Service and engagement in the community are significant pluses for an applicant,” said Strickler in an email interview. “Our role is to talk about how we do (community service) here at Guilford, and how we are different than our competitors.”

According to a Guilford Beacon announcement and Shields, Guilford students contribute between 45,000 to 60,000 hours of service each year at a variety of locations.

Guilford clearly has made its commitment to community service a top priority for the school looking forward.

“The new SLRP II is trying to make that kind of service and internships even more a part of the curriculum than it is now,” said Chabotar, speaking about Guilford’s strategic long-range plan.

From sustainable development to student organizations to specific courses, Guilford teems with volunteer service and community involvement opportunities.

How will you get involved today?

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Guilfordian intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Guilfordian does not allow anonymous comments, and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Guilfordian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *